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Children with Tobacco; Is that the Problem?...

Or is that a symptom of the problem? I recently voted to rescind an ordinance that limited the sale of tobacco in Wakulla County. It was referred to as a ban on candy flavored tobacco. When we hear the word candy, we automatically develop a mental picture of children. In truth, the ordinance went beyond candy and included a definition that actually prohibited the sale of all tobacco products that contain any natural or artificial flavor, with the exception of menthol. I’m not sure why menthol was excluded from the original ordinance. Is it less dangerous or less desirable to children? Do I think it is ok for children to use tobacco? Absolutely not! In fact, I am opposed to the use of tobacco by everyone, including adults. That is my personal belief, but I also believe that every adult should have the freedom to decide such matters for themselves. Across our great nation, there are groups of people who are so passionate about their choices that they have crossed the line and now want to force their choices onto you and me. Some communities have already banned the sale of fast foods, soft drinks above a certain size, and even the sale of natural milk. Some groups are calling for a ban on sugar, and salt. Where does it end? Do we really want the government making these choices for us? Back to the children. Our children are precious gifts from God. Their impressionable minds absorb everything we teach them. As parents, we have the ability to model the behaviors we would like for them to emulate, or we can allow the influences of the world to determine the adults they become. We can teach our children that harmful things exist in this world and also teach them how to make the best decisions to minimize the risk of harm, or we can try to hide the truth from them and hope they will never encounter harmful things. We can emulate and teach them that they have the ability to be strong and resist the temptation to succumb to the dangers of this world or we can teach them that they are weak without sufficient will power to protect themselves, while also teaching them to look to the government for protection. Parenting a child is possibly the most...